Spring’s here, and that means the Toronto Spring Motorcycle Show is here, too. This is the 30th annual edition of the Spring show, held at the International Centre opposite Pearson airport in Mississauga. It runs Saturday and Sunday (April 6-7) this weekend.
So what can you do at the show? There are lots of bikes to see and people to talk to. Here are a few of the highlights this weekend:
Canada’s largest indoor collection of classic, vintage motorcycles
The show has plenty of history displaying classic bikes, and this year, several vintage motorcycle clubs have gotten together to display their bikes in unique themed exhibits. The Ton Up Toronto club will be showing off machines, along with the Canadian Vintage Motorcycle Group’s Old Fort York chapter. The Vincent Owner’s Club will have bikes on display, along with the Renaissance Racing Team and its vintage track machines.
There’s going to be a competition between all the clubs for top display and bikes, with the winners in various categories earning prizes (categories for 15 bikes or more, 10 bikes or more, and five bikes or more).
Show producer Bar Hodgson says this is the biggest collection of vintage and classic bikes in the show’s 30-year history, with vintage clubs going to great effort on displays, including full-on workshop replications.
Along with the new themed exhibits, the Classics on the Red Carpet display of rare and elite motorcycles returns this year as well, showing two-wheeled evolution over the past 100 years. Where else are you going to see stuff like a Norton 750 Landspeed Commando, a 1922 Ner-a-car or a 1975 Honda CR125M flat tracker?
Sell your bike/Buy a bike
After seeing all those exotic machines, you may be motivated to find something similar for yourself. Head on over to the show’s Used Bike Market, where you can sell your machine, or buy one. Or both!
If you want to sell your bike, here are the basic rules: You’ve got to bring your bike to loading door #43 between noon and 11 PM Friday, or between 8 and 8:30 AM Saturday. Make sure you’ve got all your paperwork with you. When you get in the door, you’ll find the used bike market on the left; look for the Show Bike & Used Bike registration office, and bring $20 cash to pay the entry fee. And you or the new bike owner must be at the show on Sunday at 5 PM when it’s time to move the bike out.
You can register online ahead of the show, saving money and time. More details on that, and other rules about selling bikes, are here.
Go scrounging for parts
The Spring show’s Pickers swap meet returns this year. Need a turn signal lens for a CB550? It’s probably here. A header for your BSA Gold Star? It’s probably here. Flashy bodywork for your Honda Pacific Coast? Don’t push your luck, kid.
But seriously, if you’re looking to find some rare parts or memorabilia, this is the place to go. Maybe you can actually finish that project bike.
Meet interesting people
The Spring show always has a lineup of interesting people to meet, from racers to industry insiders to riders who are super-enthusiastic about sharing their two-wheeled passion with others.
This year, country music personality Jason McCoy will be at the show 2-4 PM Saturday, at the Ride for Dad booth, raising awareness of prostate cancer. The Spring show always hands out Motorcyclist of the year awards, and this year, Canadian ex-pat roadracer Dan Kruger will be at the show to receive that prize. He’s signing autographs 1-4 PM Saturday at the Rider’s Choice booth with another Ontario hotshot roadracer, Matt McBride.
Other Motorcyclist of the Year recipients in 2019 include the Ontario Norton Owners Club, the RIDERS motorcycle group, motorcycle ambassador Vicki Gray, the Telus Ride for Dad, the Durham H.O.G. chapter, fundraisers Bruce and Holly Johnson, and vintage Vincent guru Mike White.
The Spring show also sees magazines handing out the Eddy awards to noteworthy motorcyclists, and this year, CMG is presenting the award to Dan Lim, the man behind Moto Foto. Rob MacLennan, whose art has graced many roadracing stories at CMG over the years, is also receiving an Eddy, from the good people of GTAMotorcycle.ca.
Of course, there’s also a CMG/autoTRADER booth at the show, and CMG’s writers will be there on a rotating basis all day, so if you want to ask us your burning moto-questions (is the Cabot Trail really closed to motorcycles?), stop by and chat! Mark and Zac and Dustin will all be at the booth on Saturday, and Dean and Jeff will be wandering around as well.
There’s also a Women in Motorcycling section in Hall 1 this year, where you can meet female riders who’ve done some pretty cool things: epic trips, roadracing, and other two-wheeled adventures.
The Stars of Tomorrow section has long been a highlight of the Spring show, starting out with young MXers and now broadening to the roadracing and flat track segments as well. This is a great chance to show your support to kids (or even older riders) who are starting out in the world of racing. If you’ve ever dreamed of being a race team sponsor, here’s your big chance to sign up.
Take in … Biker Poetry?
As we told you last December, this year is the first time for the Spring show’s Toronto International Biker Poetry Contest. We weren’t sure what to expect then, and we still aren’t sure, but we can tell you the six finalists will read their poems on stage on Saturday at 12:30 PM. There are three male finalists, and three female finalists. The special judge is J. Barrett Wold, an “at large” member of the Highway Poets Motorcycle Club. We’re not sure what that means, either, but he’s been published in anthologies, as well as in his own books. For more information, you can see him at the show and ask him yourself.
For a full lineup of the weekend’s schedule, see the show’s website here. Show hours are 9 AM-9 PM Saturday and 10 AM-5 PM Sunday. Parking at the International Centre (6900 Airport Road, Toronto) is free. Purchase tickets online, ahead of time, here. Admission is $18 for ages 13 and up, $5 for kids aged 6-12. Kids 5 and under get in for free.